The Pacific Northwest
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The Pacific Northwest

July 16, 2006

This image of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States (and parts of Canada) was acquired July 3, 2006 by the MODIS on the Terra satellite. The red dot is the site of an active fire.

In the top left corner of the image is Vancouver Island, the southern portion of which is obscured by clouds. Vancouver is part of the Canadian province of British Columbia, visible also in the top portion of the image.

Metropolitan Vancouver is just east of Vancouver island. South of Canada is the state of Washington. Washington is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west; Oregon to the south (the Columbia River forming most of this border); and Idaho to the east.

The deep forests of the Olympic Peninsula (in the east, south of Vancouver and mostly covered with clouds) are among the rainiest places in the world and the only rainforests in the continental United States, but the flat semi-desert that lies east of the Cascade Range stretches for long distances without a single tree.

Snow-covered peaks tower above the foothills and lowlands around them. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in the state, appears to "float" on the horizon southeast of Seattle and Tacoma on clear days. The eastern side of the state can be divided into two regions: the Okanogan Highlands and the Columbia River Basin.

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